I actually was going to run to Bree, but it was at that moment Janel came back, taking a break from cleaning, “Pat what’s wrong? It looks like you’ve seen death or something.”
I still stared at Bree’s receding form.
“Patrick? Hello?” Janel followed my gaze to see Bree, “Who is that?”
I turned my face towards her finally, “That’s the mother of this baby,” I acknowledged to Julianne.
“What? But she’s, she’s blonde.”
The comment made me lose grip of my emotions for a split second, making me snap, “Maybe her dad or mother had black hair or maybe Julianne’s father had black hair.”
My tone made both Janel and Julianne jump, considering I was hardly ever mad. To make matters worse, poor Julianne began crying, “Shh, honey, it’s okay,” I tried calming her down.
Janel had a different reaction.
“What the hell is wrong with you?! Ever since that one gig you’ve been acting so strange.”
“What are you talking about?”
Now Julianne was really crying, thinking her parents were arguing. Janel responded, “Ever since that one gig at that bar you’ve been sneaking around, jumping in fright from little meaningless sounds-“
“What’s wrong with being a little skittish?” I interrupted her.
“It’s not just that,” She shook her head, “In the years that we’ve been together, never have I seen you happier than just recently. And I don’t know what it’s about bit it had something to do with Louise. That I know.”
I couldn’t do anything but remain silent. Julianne continued crying, but she was quiet about it. Just like Bree, she was one to make her emotions, “Janel!” One of her friends called from across the lawn, “We have to see about this cake now!”
“Ok, I’ll be right over!” She called back, then returned to face me, “Look, you better decide what you’re going to do. But if you ask me, what you want doesn’t involve me,” and with that, she walked back to help with the cake.
She was right. Does that mean she knew everything? If that was the case…then I was screwed.
I decided not to ask her all she knew about the matter for now.
Two days later, Bree was gone. I went and knocked on the door, but there was no answer. A “For Sale” sign was planted in the yard and there was nothing left inside the house but eerie shadows and terrible memories. I was quite surprised that she managed to empty the house and leave in two days, but then again those have been her intentions for many years.
I began remembering everything about Bree. I remembered the camp we met each other at, us discovering we lived in the same neighborhood, our friends telling us to date, the party neither of us had fun at, shoving snow in each other’s faces, seeing her at Wal-Mart once again, and all the memories after that.
Did I have anything like that with Janel?
Nope. Nothing like what I had with Bree.
I think I knew what to do
* * *
I stood in my tuxedo in front of the mirror. Julianne sat on the floor beside me in a sweet looking yellow dress, “Well honey, today’s the day,” I murmured, “You excited?”
She looked at me, confused.
Janel declared that Julianne should be the flower girl for the wedding since she was, “so dang adorable”
I was getting married tonight yet I yearned for another woman. Did that make me a bad person?
I regarded the sound of a door shutting but didn’t think much of it until Janel came up behind me, clad in her wedding dress. I instinctively covered my eyes, “I’m not suppose to see you yet, you know.”
She gave me a look, “Pat, may I be frank?”
I nodded, allowing her to continue, “I’m going to do what you don’t have the balls to do: end this wedding,” I tried to speak, but she held her hand up to stop me, “This isn’t what you want…I’m not what you want.”
I was caught. I knew it, “What are you talking about?” I took her into my arms, “Who else is there?”
She tore herself away from me and pointed to Julianne, who was quietly blowing spit bubbles, “The mother of that baby perhaps.”
“Wha…What do you mean?”
Janel shook her head, “Stop making this so damn difficult. I’m letting you free. So go.”
I stared, debating if she was serious, “You-“
“Yes Patrick. And take Julianne with you. She should be with her real mother.”
I picked up Julianne and began turning towards the door, but found myself to stop, “What about you?”
“Oh don’t mind me. This relationship was fruitless for me anyway,” She said this with a heartfelt chuckle, which made me feel it was okay to turn away forever.